• CPS - learn and serve

    A Program of the Corporation for National and Community Service

    Service learning in America is a concept that can be traced back to 1903 when the Cooperative Education Movement was founded at the University of Cincinnati.  Since then, several different types of service learning programs, like Learn and Serve America, have been created to offer young people an opportunity to become involved with service projects while learning at the same time.

    Learn and Serve America (previously known as the Serve America program) was created under the National and Community Service Act of 1990. In 1993, Learn and Serve America was integrated alongside AmeriCorps and Senior Corps as part of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

    From kindergarten to college students, Learn and Serve America offers service learning opportunities that connect educational projects to community service activities.  The program hopes to increase student engagement in the learning process and encourage students to become active in their communities through the services they perform.

    We invite College of Public Service students in our public administration program and School of Graduate Education program students to explore the Learn and Serve America website if they are interested in participating in one of their programs or using it in the future.

    By participating in Learn and Serve America activities, students can build their academic and civic skills.  Four principles that guide Learn and Serve America are:

    • Meet the nation’s needs
    • Improve participant’s lives
    • Strengthen communities
    • Continuously enhance management

    A study conducted by Learn and Serve America programs suggests that “effective service learning programs improve grades, increase attendance in school, and develop students' personal and social responsibility” (Learn and Serve America, 2013).

    Learn and Serve America appropriates funds to K–12 through higher education institutions through grants. Institutions interested in connecting learning objectives with meaningful service to the community can apply for a grant.

    Organizations interested in a Learn and Serve America grant can visit their website to find out about new grant opportunities for programs such as:

    • K–12 school-based programs
    • Higher education programs
    • Innovative and community-based service learning programs
    • Programs for Native American communities

    Individuals including educators, parents, students, or nonprofits can visit here for more information: http://www.learnandserve.gov/for_individuals/overview/index.asp.



    Learn and Serve America. (2013). About Learn and Serve America. Retrieved from http://www.learnandserve.gov on April 19, 2013.

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